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101  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Islam in Czech Republic on: January 09, 2017, 01:01:20 AM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/01/06/czech-government-tells-its-citizens-how-to-fight-terrorists-shoot-them-yourselves/?utm_term=.08d6b210798e

http://www.ammoland.com/2017/01/european-commission-update-citizens-wake-up/?utm_source=Ammoland+Subscribers&utm_campaign=8c7e0aa8e9-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6f6fac3eaa-8c7e0aa8e9-7181749#axzz4UwCbtDFx

http://www.ammoland.com/2017/01/national-interests-collide-globalist-controls-czechs-resist-eu-gun-ban/?utm_source=Ammoland+Subscribers&utm_campaign=8c7e0aa8e9-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6f6fac3eaa-8c7e0aa8e9-7181749#axzz4UwCbtDFx
102  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rest in Peace Nat Hentoff on: January 08, 2017, 05:52:01 PM
https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn
103  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Nat Hentoff on the First Amendment on: January 08, 2017, 05:50:42 PM


https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn
104  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Drones/UAV/UAS/Bots on: January 08, 2017, 05:29:04 PM
Indeed.  Lorenz was quite clear on the limitations of the mechanisms in this regard.
105  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Frederick Douglas on: January 08, 2017, 05:27:25 PM
http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/The-many-lives-of-Frederick-Douglass-4883?utm_source=The+New+Criterion+Subscribers&utm_campaign=bde1ab7ffd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f42f7adca5-bde1ab7ffd-104774881
106  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Frederick Douglas on: January 08, 2017, 05:26:51 PM
http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/The-many-lives-of-Frederick-Douglass-4883?utm_source=The+New+Criterion+Subscribers&utm_campaign=bde1ab7ffd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f42f7adca5-bde1ab7ffd-104774881
107  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Drones/UAV/UAS/Bots on: January 08, 2017, 03:07:35 PM
 :lol:javascript:void(0);
108  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / CATO: US meddling in foreign elections on: January 08, 2017, 01:27:19 PM
https://www.cato.org/blog/hypocrisy-election-interference?utm_content=buffer42543&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
109  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Instagram in plain English on: January 08, 2017, 12:52:11 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2017/01/08/a-lawyer-rewrote-instagrams-terms-of-use-in-plain-english-so-kids-would-know-their-privacy-rights/?utm_term=.28ec03c5772e&wpisrc=nl_wemost&wpmm=1
110  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Naturalized American Musllim woman given hard time for voting for Trump by prof on: January 08, 2017, 12:18:33 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2017/01/06/muslim-woman-who-voted-for-trump-asks-georgetown-to-intervene-over-professors-hateful-vulgar-messages/?utm_term=.4f42fd3d7f4e&wpisrc=nl_wemost&wpmm=1
111  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Drones/UAV/UAS/Bots on: January 08, 2017, 11:28:01 AM
Konrad Lorenz was very eloquent about how technology that enables killing from a distance makes it hard for the victor from seeing the defeated as real and by so doing enabled bypassing limiting behaviors.
112  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: January 08, 2017, 11:22:57 AM
As I understand it the argument is so that they can buy car insurance.
113  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / NYC crime stats on: January 08, 2017, 11:22:08 AM
I apologize for not having the citation, but recently I read/saw something about crime stats this past year in NYC actually showing pretty good trends.  Given DeBlasio's policies and feuds with the police, this surprised me quite a bit.  Does anyone have the actual data?
114  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: January 08, 2017, 11:15:44 AM
I did not know that illegal alien IDs were accepted by the TSA.
115  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Monica Crowley on: January 07, 2017, 08:23:56 PM
http://money.cnn.com/interactive/news/kfile-trump-monica-crowley-plagiarized-multiple-sources-2012-book/index.html

 I always tended to change channels when she came on , , ,
116  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Chuck Schumer on: January 07, 2017, 07:52:17 PM
It wouldn't have occurred to me, but I am not opposed  grin
117  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ODNI Russian Election Operations on: January 07, 2017, 07:48:03 PM
https://info.publicintelligence.net/ODNI-RussianElectionOperations.pdf
118  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WaPo takes on Breitbart on: January 07, 2017, 12:33:41 PM
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/allahu-akbar-chanting-mob-sets-alight-germanys-oldest-church-shocking-story-if-it-were-true/2017/01/06/30470f58-d36a-11e6-9651-54a0154cf5b3_story.html?utm_term=.b8b6359dc98b

For the record, I have been burned more than once on FB for citing Breitbart.  I am pretty fg irked.
119  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jared Kushner on: January 07, 2017, 11:04:11 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/07/us/politics/jared-kushner-trump-business.html?emc=edit_ta_20170107&nlid=49641193&ref=cta&_r=0
120  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / This sounds like pretty bad Op Sec to me , , , on: January 06, 2017, 10:28:58 PM
http://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2017/01/06/new-emails-show-more-extremely-careless-behavior-by-clinton-n2267895
121  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar, Cyber Crime, and American Freedom on: January 06, 2017, 09:59:12 PM
Fair enough.
122  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Scientists challenge Left's orthodoxy on: January 06, 2017, 07:27:52 AM
https://patriotpost.us/articles/44470

Born This Way'? New Study Debunks LGBT Claims

Correcting the record on the homosexual agenda's junk science.
Louis DeBroux · Aug. 25, 2016
Print Email Bigger Smaller

Among leftists, it is at convenient times an accepted fact (“settled science,” you might say) that homosexuals and transgendered people are “born that way” — that their sexual attractions or gender identities are not the product of choice, but a matter of genetics. (When that’s not convenient, of course, it’s a perfectly acceptable “life choice.”) A new report, instantly controversial, torpedoes that understanding of homosexuality and gender dysphoria, the medical term for transgenderism.

The report, entitled “Sexuality and Gender: Findings from the Biological, Psychological, and Social Sciences,” is co-authored by two of the most well respected experts on mental health and human sexuality. Dr. Paul McHugh, described as “arguably the most important American psychiatrist of the last half century,” is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the prestigious Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and served for 25 years as psychiatrist in chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital. And Dr. Lawrence Mayer, Psychiatry Department scholar-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University, is a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Arizona State University.

While, not surprisingly, many on the Left and in the LGBT “community” immediately raged against the report as anti-LGBT, it should be noted that Johns Hopkins was the first medical facility in the U.S. to perform sex-reassignment surgery, and did so for decades until a growing body of peer-reviewed studies, including an analysis of how Hopkins' own transgendered patients fared over time, led the hospital to end those types of surgeries. Furthermore, McHugh is no far right-wing ideologue or Bible-thumper; he’s a self-described “politically liberal” Democrat.

Yet it was his long-term experience with patients who suffer from gender dysphoria that led him to his conclusions, summarized in a report that analyzed more than 200 peer reviewed studies. McHugh and Mayer are also very up front about what the science does and does not show. They freely admit the gaps in the available research, which they argue underscores the need for more research before establishing medical standards, public policy guidelines, and laws, based on “settled science” that is not at all settled.

So what did the study find? A few excerpts:

    “The belief that sexual orientation is an innate, biologically fixed human property — that people are ‘born that way’ — is not supported by scientific evidence.

    Likewise, the belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex — so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence.

    Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidence that all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.

    Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.”

One of the most shocking findings in the report is that not only do people who suffer from gender dysphoria experience far higher rates of social pathologies (depression, substance abuse, suicide) than the general population, but sex-reassignment surgery does not offer the relief those on the Left claim. One study finds that “compared to [the general population], sex-reassigned individuals were about five times more likely to attempt suicide and about 19 times more likely to die by suicide.” The study finds a staggering 41% of transgendered individuals will attempt suicide in their lifetime.

The duo investigated the underlying causes of these tragic statistics, and found that while “stressors like stigma and prejudice account for much of the additional suffering observed in these subpopulations … [this theory] does not seem to offer a complete explanation for the disparities in the outcomes.” Even in social environments where transgendered people are accepted, they still suffer from above-normal rates of these social pathologies. McHugh and Mayer encourage additional research be done to study the correlation between childhood sexual abuse and sexual orientation (studies have shown non-heterosexuals to be two to three times more likely to have experienced childhood sexual abuse as compared to heterosexuals).

Far from offering condemnation or judgment, they stress the need for greater understanding of the science behind gender dysphoria, and a more thoughtful, science-based approached to treating it. “More research is needed to uncover the causes of the increased rates of mental health problems in the LGBT subpopulations,” McHugh and Mayer say, calling on society to work to “alleviate suffering and promote human health and flourishing.”

All the more reason to base medical treatment and public policy on sound science, which is not currently the case. The authors declare they are “disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children. … We are concerned by the increasing tendency toward encouraging children with gender identity issues to transition to their preferred gender through medical and then surgical procedures.” The pair notes, “There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents.”

The Obama administration has used (and abused) its vast power to dismiss the concerns of parents, policymakers and medical professionals in implementing policy in the furtherance of its ideological goal — forced social acceptance of gender dysphoria as normal, all under the guise of medical science.

Part of that effort was Obama’s announcement earlier this year that schools receiving federal funding were prohibited from requiring students to use the restroom and shower facilities of their birth sex, while threatening a loss of funding for any school that didn’t comply with his imperial decree. Essentially, this meant boys who think they are girls would get to shower with female classmates.

Luckily, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor has injected some sanity into the debate, issuing an injunction against implementation of this policy, stating that Obama exceeded his authority in his attempt to reinterpret Title IX. As O'Connor said, “It cannot be disputed that the meaning of the term ‘sex’ [in Title IX] meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined by their birth.”

Gender dysphoria is a real and debilitating problem for a tiny minority of the population, and we should treat those who suffer from it compassionately. At the same time, we do not show true compassion by pretending it is not an illness, or by encouraging those who suffer from it to embrace and celebrate it.


123  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Chess on: January 06, 2017, 07:26:37 AM
My son has been studying gambits and with great pride I can say he has now passed me. cool cool cool
124  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Tucker Carlson gets Megyn Kelly's slot on: January 06, 2017, 02:23:42 AM
http://www.mrctv.org/blog/breaking-tucker-carlson-replace-megyn-kelly-fox-news
125  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Atmospheric river coming on: January 06, 2017, 01:38:43 AM
http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-atmospheric-river-prepare-20170105-story.html
126  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Cyberwar, Cyber Crime, and American Freedom on: January 05, 2017, 11:33:27 PM
See my Reply #397.
127  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Trump loses Woolsey on: January 05, 2017, 10:29:13 PM
Trump is really looking bad on this Russian cyber thing , , , losing Woolsey is a big deal.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/james-woolsey-trump-adviser_us_586ede23e4b043ad97e2b932?2k4posi7ocf53766r
128  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Corruption, Skullduggery, and Treason on: January 05, 2017, 06:52:36 PM
My understanding is that they are exempt-- which it should be noted, reveals the deep cynicism of Schumer's remarks  rolleyes tongue angry

As to why, I suspect the answer has something to do with greed.


129  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Cognitive Dissonance anyone? on: January 05, 2017, 06:18:30 PM
https://www.buzzfeed.com/alimwatkins/the-fbi-never-asked-for-access-to-hacked-computer-servers?utm_term=.jqd1wro5W#.fyobOa9Yj
130  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 05, 2017, 01:53:18 PM
I've gotten some feedback on the Obama self-award piece by Breitbart.

Apparently this is SOP, even Bush 43 got this award.
131  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: January 05, 2017, 01:49:33 PM
Please post that in the Economics thread as well.
132  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: January 05, 2017, 01:48:33 PM
This is POTH, but it makes clear the wisdom of Trump's tweets of yesterday about making sure the Dems own the disaster.  At the moment it looks like the Reps are about to step in to take the blame.  Stupid party once again?

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/us/affordable-care-act-congress-repeal-plan.html?emc=edit_th_20170105&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=49641193
133  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Looks like the Ruskis did it on: January 05, 2017, 01:13:31 PM


https://www.crowdstrike.com/blog/bears-midst-intrusion-democratic-national-committee/
134  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pravda on the Beach: Ocare working on: January 05, 2017, 08:21:53 AM
How do we answer the charts and attendant assertions herein?

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-obamacare-charts-20170104-story.html
135  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: California on: January 04, 2017, 11:58:02 PM
 cool cool cool grin
136  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: January 04, 2017, 11:57:06 PM
In this case of health care, thanks to government meddling no you can't.
137  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Morris: Apply the law to Congress as well on: January 04, 2017, 09:24:08 PM
How To Repeal ObamaCare
By DICK MORRIS
Published on DickMorris.com on January 4, 2017
A recent column by Heather R. Higgins and Phil Kerpen really points the way to how to get rid of this obnoxious program.  Their ideas are similar to ones I have ventured in this space.

Zero fund the fines for failure to buy insurance or offer it to one's workers.  No need to repeal it which would take 60 votes.  Just zero out the penalty and leave the "fine" on the books to rot away.  Zero fund the fines that penalize people for buying healthcare plans that are not as extensive or expensive as the bureaucrats want.  Let folks buy what they want -- or nothing at all -- and let them keep, or revert if they can, to their old policies.  Any state approved plan should be OK under ObamaCare.

Keep the subsidies in place but with less coverage and lower premiums, the subsidies will drop.

Keep coverage of pre-existing conditions and the prohibition against terminating a plan or raising premiums if people become ill.

And then bring under Medicare -- or some other government subsidy -- everyone whose illness is so bad and chronic that they can't meet their needs through insurance.

But Higgins and Kerpen add a new wrinkle -- they ask that Trump rescind the Obama Administration ruling exempting members of Congress and their staffs from ObamaCare requirements.  In practice, this means cutting their premium subsidies that currently pay for up to three-quarters of the cost.  As Higgins and Kerpen point out, "there is nothing as motivating as skin in the game."  By making members and staffers on Capitol Hill pay for more of their insurance, you can bet a sharp reduction of cost will be soon coming.

Republicans can only pass bills that come under the reconciliation procedure that only requires a simple majority in the Senate.  The parliamentarian decides what is kosher for reconciliation and what is an overreach.  But Republicans should feel free to override the parliamentarian's orders if they need to do so.

Don't let the Republicans sell the idea that a full repeal has to wait for years while a meaningless resolution signaling an intention to repeal takes effect.  This dodge and evasion would leave millions of people with plans they can't afford or deductibles that bar access to services. 

By a combination of executive orders and legislation that would not require 60 votes (because it is passed under reconciliation), get rid of this law now!
 
138  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Reciprocity Bill on: January 04, 2017, 09:20:17 PM
http://cqrcengage.com/gunowners/app/write-a-letter?2&engagementId=270553&ep=AAAAC2Flc0NpcGhlcjAxqjx91cw7u17lVsaCa1sqJbUZR3-rVCP76AaeU2EPV5JMx1Zr5WKy5Ac-YPDTiPSVyPM8V27POQE-kjR2ODv9o02GsBlpixw8tX1QNOhhWsc&lp=0
139  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Res ipsa loquitor on: January 04, 2017, 09:15:39 PM
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/01/04/president-obama-awards-himself-distinguished-public-service-medal/
140  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: January 04, 2017, 09:11:26 PM
A fair question, but let me bounce it back at you:

As a customer, how would you feel if the supermarket charged you more for a given food item than someone else?
141  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Term Limits on: January 04, 2017, 09:09:51 PM
Excellent discussion BD.

In a closely related vein here is a post I made on a thread on a different forum about Cruz's proposed Term Limits Amendment:

   

    Due to the unusual trajectory of my life I happen to have substantial background in things pertaining to Mexico, including serious academic study in the US and Mexico, work experience in Mexico, and a helluva a lot of flight time, much of it in places not many Americans go. From this background I would offer the following:

    Superficially, Mexico's political structure tracks ours quite closely with one very important difference-- no one can be re-elected. The net result is that the Congress has no institutional memory whatsoever (i.e. no one there was there before) which greatly magnifies the power of the President (one six year term) and his bureaucracy. It also makes the parties quite powerful because each Congressman/Senator knows he must go back to his party for his next job when his term is up.

    The point is that the length of permisable incumbency is very important. IMHO the Cruz bill cuts things too short. I would rather see 18 years for Senate and 12 for Congress.

PS:  An additional thought:

Back in 84', '88, and '92 when I was running for Congress for the Libertarian Party, the incumbency rate for the House of Representatives was 98% or so. This was due to gerrymandering. Perhaps the real issue is the lack of competitive districts due to gerrymandering.
142  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Male Vulnerability is not virtue on: January 04, 2017, 09:01:29 PM
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/443486/masculinity-male-vulnerability-isnt-virtue?utm_source=nr&utm_campaign=feminists-male-vulnerability&utm_medium=facebook&utm_content=french
143  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / A nasty hate crime in Chicago on: January 04, 2017, 08:55:31 PM
http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/crime/227116738-story
144  DBMA Espanol / Espanol Discussion / Jihadi fund raising in Latin America on: January 04, 2017, 03:24:34 PM
http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2016/12/spanish-military-report-islamic-terrorists-operate-raise-cash-latin-america-attack-u-s/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Tipsheet%201-4-17%20%281%29&utm_content=
145  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Jihadi fund raising in Latin America on: January 04, 2017, 03:23:24 PM
http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2016/12/spanish-military-report-islamic-terrorists-operate-raise-cash-latin-america-attack-u-s/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Tipsheet%201-4-17%20%281%29&utm_content=
146  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Grannis: Things looking pretty good on: January 04, 2017, 01:06:15 PM
http://scottgrannis.blogspot.com/2017/01/off-to-good-start.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FtMBeq+%28Calafia+Beach+Pundit%29
147  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / California hires Eric Holder on: January 04, 2017, 12:28:28 PM
http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/eric-holder-hired-california-legal-battles-against-trump-n703116
148  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Marie le Pen on board with Russki annexation of Crimea on: January 04, 2017, 11:27:28 AM


https://www.1492news.com/news/37795_1483466418
149  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Stratfor's analysis of prospects for NAFTA on: January 04, 2017, 11:19:48 AM
second post

Trade Stays Intact

The North American Free Trade Agreement will remain largely intact in 2017 despite U.S. campaign promises made to the contrary in 2016. The fact of the matter is that the trade ties and supply chains of North America are so tightly bound that a sudden and dramatic reversal to an agreement such as NAFTA would contravene the interests of all its members. The United States will nonetheless renegotiate the deal, albeit gradually, to honor the campaign promises made by president-elect Donald Trump. Those talks will likely extend beyond 2017.

That is not to say the United States is without options for improving the terms of the contract. The Trump administration could increase regional content requirements for products to qualify for tariff-free export to the United States and use non-tariff barriers more selectively. Mexico will have much more at stake in the negotiations, but its imperative is far simpler. It means to leverage its low labor costs and its high number of free trade agreements to maintain as much of the status quo as possible on trade and to maintain foreign direct investment flows into domestic manufacturing. And so Mexico will have a few tools to use against the United States. Mexico could influence the Trump administration by allying with businesses and states that would be hurt by more expensive labor and goods. (As a matter of fact, it has already begun to do so.) It could, moreover, leverage intelligence cooperation on counternarcotics operations to try and shape the dialogue.

Lower investment flows that could result from the uncertainty surrounding the NAFTA negotiations could hurt Mexico in the meantime. But even this will be tempered by Mexico's proximity to the United States and its multitude of free trade agreements. Canada, with its advanced economy and high labor costs, will receive much less scrutiny. The Canadian government has indicated its willingness to take part in the NAFTA talks and will be seeking measures to protect its own manufacturing sector.

Canada could also renegotiate NAFTA's investor-state dispute settlement, which allows an investor to sue a foreign government in international arbitration without going through domestic courts. Having been challenged under the ISDS procedure, Canada will certainly want to revisit its terms, even if a business-friendly Trump Cabinet were to resist measures that undermine foreign corporate protection abroad.

The negotiations will be slow going, no matter how they play out. Many of the points up for discussion would still center on concentrating economic production in North America, where supply chain interdependencies are developing organically.
A Tighter Energy Bloc

The Trump administration will loosen regulations on domestic energy, enabling North America to more easily integrate as an energy bloc. It plans to streamline the process for federal permits on energy projects and to pull back from climate change initiatives, measures that could also provide a relative boost to the coal and nuclear power industries. They could also enable the beleaguered U.S. energy sector to rebound after a prolonged depression in the price of oil. A gradual recovery in North American production will, in turn, allow for a modest increase in global oil prices since it will take time for increased North American oil output to offset coordinated production cuts by the world's oil producers.

Canada and Mexico will meanwhile continue to make measured progress in energy integration with the United States. In Canada's case, this will include increased cross-border pipeline construction and supply integration. In Mexico's case, it will entail implementing broader energy reforms, including further liberalizing domestic energy prices and loosening Pemex's dominance in refining and distribution.
The Pinch of Low Prices

Latin American commodities exporters will continue to feel the pinch of low commodities prices in 2017. The economies of Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia will begin to recover somewhat, but slow demand growth from China, low oil prices and an oversupply of agricultural commodities such as soybeans will otherwise keep exports largely depressed.

Further stunting economic growth and fiscal health is the strength of the U.S. dollar. Colombia, Brazil, and Chile have substantial dollar-denominated debt, which will become harder to repay or rollover. For Venezuela, which is already on the edge of default, heavier debt payments will increase the risk of default. For Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Argentina, more expensive debt payments amid the general commodity downturn will limit the amount governments can spend on domestic priorities.

A modest increase in global oil prices could meanwhile bring temporary relief for oil producing nations in Latin America. Even a temporary hike would be a welcome reprieve for central governments, which would then have a little more leeway in managing public finances. For Venezuela, a country already in an extreme state of economic deterioration, even a slight rise in oil prices could lower the odds that it will default on its foreign debt.

And so, faced as they are with relatively low export growth, certain Latin American countries will seek increased access to markets abroad by advancing trade agreements with nations outside the region. In light of the demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the rise of new if limited NAFTA negotiations, Mexico will tentatively try to enter discussions on trade deals with Asian states, particularly with China. The countries that comprise Mercosur, or the Common Market of the South, will also continue to negotiate with the European Union on a future trade agreement, though political constraints on both sides of that dialogue could drag things out.
150  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / WaPo on Ford's decision to build in US on: January 04, 2017, 11:17:55 AM
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